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Old 10-13-2008, 01:12 PM   #196
jfinke
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Originally Posted by rpmdfw View Post

Still, I never begrudged spending a cent on P.I.'s overpriced drinks, and would gladly pay double to have one more "normal" night at the Adventurers Club.

*sigh*
Be careful what you wish for. We may end up a "new and improved" AC with double priced drinks!
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Old 10-13-2008, 02:32 PM   #197
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TDC Nala, its funny that you brought up the Anaheim model, as that thought crossed my mind, but I always thought their was no way they would kill off a unique DTD for the crummy version in Anaheim, I mean that version is pretty bad, no one would go their for the experience of Anaheims DTD, there is no draw that cant be had off property and at a fraction of the price. Add to that the fact that Disneyland doesnt have the on site captive guests like WDW, and it makes no sense to duplicate it?
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Old 10-13-2008, 03:57 PM   #198
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TDC Nala, its funny that you brought up the Anaheim model, as that thought crossed my mind, but I always thought their was no way they would kill off a unique DTD for the crummy version in Anaheim, I mean that version is pretty bad, no one would go their for the experience of Anaheims DTD, there is no draw that cant be had off property and at a fraction of the price. Add to that the fact that Disneyland doesnt have the on site captive guests like WDW, and it makes no sense to duplicate it?
WDW may have the onsite guests - but as Rob pointed out somewhere, the major difference between Anaheim and Lake Buena Vista is that even if you're a WDW onsite guest (which I usually am) and you don't have a car (which I usually don't), you need to make an effort to get to and from DTD, unless maybe you are staying at Saratoga Springs. I for one am not going to be making that effort so much anymore because there no longer that much of a reason for me to go. I like Raglan Road a lot but I am not going to hang out there for hours - eat, have a couple beers and get out of there. Then what? I'm not local but I am there so much that the tourist trappings aren't going to draw me. A put your own face on a tee shirt wouldn't get me over there - I don't want my face where I can see it.

Even if you have a car, you need to make more of an effort than onsite guests at Anaheim have to make. DTD is a gateway to the parks over there. (Don't know if it's relevant - but CityWalk is also a gateway to the parks at Universal.)

I've been to Anaheim several times over the last few years and spent zero time actually hanging around Downtown Disney. Walked through it to get back to the hotel from the parks, stopped in some stores, picked up some beignets. Never even took the time to eat in any of the restaurants beyond carrying out some beignets and bread pudding from that New Orleans place.

At least they had a Sephora so if I forgot my makeup I could have picked some up.
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Old 10-13-2008, 06:02 PM   #199
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Various comments:

1. No doubt Universal Florida did it right when they built CityWalk in front of the two theme parks which forces people to walk through it to get to and from those parks. Yet even there most of the night clubs are upstairs so there is little mixing between those partying and those just passing through.

2. Thus, Downtown Disney in Florida has to be a destination because people have to make an effort to go there. And a destination it was. And for some, it still will be. Fine. But for locals here in Orlando, there is now little reason to go. For adults traveling without kids and conventioneers, no reason at all.

3. I don't see how the customer base at DTD in Anaheim being nearly 100% tourists is a good thing and something to replicate. Disneyland has its own problems with teens since it's so very local. Area teens have annual passes and spend every afternoon hanging around IN the theme park. That's not a good thing. Any problem PI had with teens was because they opened the island. If they had kept it ticketed adults only, teens would have NEVER been hanging out there.

4. I too think that PI was one entity and ticket sales (daily or passesl) were not allocated to each club for accounting purposes. After all, most of the time you simply had to show your armband to get into a different club and they did not count attendance except on busier nights when they were tracking capacity. Not so at CityWalk though were most of the clubs seem to be outsourced. I've been out there with my new CityWalk AP (Thanks PI!) and while you get an armband at the first club, you still have to let each club scan your Pass (or daily ticket) the first time you visit that night. So there I believe something is being allocated and it perhaps explains why they never offered an AP in the past.

5. It's hard to believe that there are no firm plans for PI. Were they really that desperate to shut the place down?

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Old 10-13-2008, 06:05 PM   #200
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I have been off the boards for a few days so I was just catching up. You all bring good points and ideas as usual. One thing I want to add and I'd love to say to many many more people - the ONLY reason DISNEY has actually given is "based on guest feedback" there has been no statement about family friendly. Of course one can speculate what their survey said, but I doubt they stuck around during the night and asked people walking through with kids at midnight if they thought the area should be more kid friendly. We talked to a guy in line at Mannequins who used to be in charge of the research group that Disney uses and he said they always survey during the day when families are all over the place.

Either way it's all speculation. We don't know the financial numbers and we don't know the exact reason this came to fruition(other than the fact that EVERYTHING is about the bottom dollar in some way these days)

What we do know is what doesn't make sense
1. Close the clubs with obviously no immediate plans for construction
2. Close all the clubs at once rather than closing BET and Motion first
3. Why not wait until the new year? Why close before the holidays? It makes no sense.

We know no major announcement will be made until at least January. So the clubs are empty for essentially no reason.

If they don't have a buyer for mannequins, I'd be interested to see how much they want for it
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Old 10-13-2008, 07:23 PM   #201
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Originally Posted by zulemara View Post
I have been off the boards for a few days so I was just catching up. You all bring good points and ideas as usual. One thing I want to add and I'd love to say to many many more people - the ONLY reason DISNEY has actually given is "based on guest feedback" there has been no statement about family friendly. Of course one can speculate what their survey said, but I doubt they stuck around during the night and asked people walking through with kids at midnight if they thought the area should be more kid friendly. We talked to a guy in line at Mannequins who used to be in charge of the research group that Disney uses and he said they always survey during the day when families are all over the place.

Either way it's all speculation. We don't know the financial numbers and we don't know the exact reason this came to fruition(other than the fact that EVERYTHING is about the bottom dollar in some way these days)

What we do know is what doesn't make sense
1. Close the clubs with obviously no immediate plans for construction
2. Close all the clubs at once rather than closing BET and Motion first
3. Why not wait until the new year? Why close before the holidays? It makes no sense.

We know no major announcement will be made until at least January. So the clubs are empty for essentially no reason.

If they don't have a buyer for mannequins, I'd be interested to see how much they want for it
Your point #3; I was under the impression they closed it when they did because it was the end of their {Disney"s} fiscal year. In a huge corporation I think that makes sense. {to the bean counters}
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Old 10-13-2008, 07:40 PM   #202
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Your point #3; I was under the impression they closed it when they did because it was the end of their {Disney"s} fiscal year. In a huge corporation I think that makes sense. {to the bean counters}
I'm also sure that the bean counters were rather see some profits (even if lower than company targets) than no profits at all. PI had to be making a profit since I'm sure the buildings are fully depreciated so the only operating costs were staff, food and beverages. When PI was closed doesn't make any sense since the facilities are now just sitting vacant.
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Old 10-13-2008, 08:07 PM   #203
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Do we REALLY know that it was making a significant margin? Someone previously posted here or somewhere that they heard AC was LOSING $250k (don't know if that was annually, or quarterly, or what). I'd expect margins on AC to be lower because of the professional staff required.

Also, when they removed the gates, they made each club responsible for ticket sales. This had two effects - first, it allowed them to more directly attribute ticket sales to an individual club (and even passholder attendance so some level of pass sales could be accounted to the club), but second - it required more staff to handle ticket sales, and thus increased costs, which could also be directly charged to that club's bottom line.

At any rate, I don't think management are COMPLETE idiots. I'm sure there is some reason the clubs were closed - they either have SOME plan that is/will be put in place and we just don't see any outwards signs of it, or PI wasn't making the margins that they would have liked, and opted to close it now and close the fiscal books and deal with a plan later.

Just because PI or a particular club may have made a profit, if the margin didn't meet expectations, they may feel that the operating expenses might be better directed elsewhere in the meantime.

NOTE: I'm not saying I agree with any of this - its just appears that there is conflicting information out there and a lot of supposition.

I DO agree with that Disney needs to find a way to make DTD a destination for people. I think it has earned a bad reputation as of late and Disney needs to figure out a way to attract more people while repairing that reputation.
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Old 10-13-2008, 08:20 PM   #204
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Do any of us REALLY know wht goes on behind closed doors at Disney? Of course not. All we can do is speculate and offer our thoughts on the matter.
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Old 10-13-2008, 08:25 PM   #205
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Do any of us REALLY know wht goes on behind closed doors at Disney? Of course not. All we can do is speculate and offer our thoughts on the matter.
Oh, I totally agree...it just seems the tenor of the discussion had taken supposition as fact, which I guess was the point my ramblings were trying to make (not feeling well tonight.... )
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Old 10-13-2008, 08:48 PM   #206
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Let me preface this by saying that no one wants the club brought back more than me.

We cannot assume that PI as a whole, or even the Adventurers Club by itself was making a profit. There are a lot of hidden costs which I am sure no one is taking into account. For example, it took 20 people every night to bring the Club to life. Assuming 5 hours a day, 7 days a week, that is 17.5 full time positions. The average Health Insurance premium is going to run $350 a month per employee. Say 10 of them participate, thats $3500 in insurance premiums a month. If the average drink is $8(being generous as beer is cheaper), and the cost of the alcohol is 15%, you would need to sell 514 drinks a month just to cover the cost of insurance. We also forget that Disney is a large corporate behemoth in terms of overhead. They need to charge out accounting, IT, HR, engineering, marketing(as Otis would say, "Dont make me laugh"), a VP... to all of their profit centers. There is also real and personal property taxes in addition to general liability, liquor liability, and property insurance premiums to cover. I believe in 1989 buildings were depreciated over 31 years, but that is not what shows up in their analysis. They are most likely putting aside 5% into a reserve to replace the roof every 20 years, buy new furniture, new Kungaloosh machines when they break, etc.

If you start to actually put a pencil and paper to it, it was barely covering its costs, and if it was, it certainly wasnt returning a 6-10% return on the value of the lakefront property it sits on. Compare this to DVC which can turn a single hotel room into $1,000,000 and collect an ongoing management fee for 50 years, and you begin to see what the crunchers see.

Now, could they be innovative? Sell "seat licenses" or memberships like Club 33? Do a dinner show and get $60 a head or charge $25 to all people walking in the door and try to push the limits of what people will pay? Why not, they do it everywhere else on property. How much do they charge for a Bibbidi Bobbidi makeover? I dont like the Main Street barber shop's long term prospects...

That is what upsets me the most, they didnt even try.
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Old 10-13-2008, 09:24 PM   #207
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Let me preface this by saying that no one wants the club brought back more than me.

We cannot assume that PI as a whole, or even the Adventurers Club by itself was making a profit. There are a lot of hidden costs which I am sure no one is taking into account. For example, it took 20 people every night to bring the Club to life. Assuming 5 hours a day, 7 days a week, that is 17.5 full time positions. The average Health Insurance premium is going to run $350 a month per employee. Say 10 of them participate, thats $3500 in insurance premiums a month. If the average drink is $8(being generous as beer is cheaper), and the cost of the alcohol is 15%, you would need to sell 514 drinks a month just to cover the cost of insurance. We also forget that Disney is a large corporate behemoth in terms of overhead. They need to charge out accounting, IT, HR, engineering, marketing(as Otis would say, "Dont make me laugh"), a VP... to all of their profit centers. There is also real and personal property taxes in addition to general liability, liquor liability, and property insurance premiums to cover. I believe in 1989 buildings were depreciated over 31 years, but that is not what shows up in their analysis. They are most likely putting aside 5% into a reserve to replace the roof every 20 years, buy new furniture, new Kungaloosh machines when they break, etc.

If you start to actually put a pencil and paper to it, it was barely covering its costs, and if it was, it certainly wasnt returning a 6-10% return on the value of the lakefront property it sits on.
The points you raise a very valid with one exception. All the costs you mention with the exception of salaries and benefits are continuing even though PI is closed. If they were doing something else with the property immediately closing possibly makes sense but just leaving the property vacant and nonproductive certainly doesn't! Disney certainly has ulterior motives for this move and only time will tell what it is.
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Old 10-13-2008, 11:19 PM   #208
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We also forget that Disney is a large corporate behemoth in terms of overhead. They need to charge out accounting, IT, HR, engineering, marketing(as Otis would say, "Dont make me laugh"), a VP... to all of their profit centers.
So Disney closed the Adventurer's Club because Disney is a bloated inefficient company that would rather reduce the guest experience than lower the management annual bonsues?

That's basically about right


P.S. All the costs you're talking about are likely less than a month's rent on the swank Manhatten apartment that The Company leases for Bob Iger.
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Old 10-14-2008, 12:07 AM   #209
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Well a company like disney can manipulate the numbers to say anything they want to, but it had been reported in the past that PI was indeed turning a profit, with the AC doing the most business (alot of this was indeed offset by the much higher operating costs).

It still makes no sense to end when they did rather than letting the clubs ride it out through the holiday's.

I think there is also a major miscalculation in just how many tickets were purchased with the 'and more' option, whether those folks ever made it to PI or not (every vacation plans get scuttled, time flies!), that was money in the bank for Disney that PI had to be accounting for a sizeable chunk of.

Getting a ticket upgrade from folks upfront thats non-refundable if its not used so folks 'can' have the ability to go seems like a pretty sweet deal for disney.
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Old 10-14-2008, 07:17 PM   #210
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One thing I want to add and I'd love to say to many many more people - the ONLY reason DISNEY has actually given is "based on guest feedback" there has been no statement about family friendly.
Well if you read the very first paragraph of the very first announcement of the PI closure as stated in the Orlando Sentinel, I think you're incorrect:

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/busin...,2367595.story

Later in the article Lansberry is quoted, "Truthfully, our guests have really gotten out of that in the last couple of years. They want things that are a lot more geared toward family entertainment."

So those of us who feel Disney has referred to their vision of PI as more "family friendly" do in fact have a basis for that statement. The AC was family friendly even if my beloved Mannequins and 8TRAX were not. The new South American restaurant/night club is not in any way family friendly.

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